If you’re looking for a good cross-training technique for your more athletic clients, suggest they practice hot yoga, which may boost aerobic performance while minimizing exercise stress.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, researchers recruited 10 elite female field hockey players for observation. All athletes participated in 60-minute hot-yoga classes (30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit) over 6 consecutive days, during which they did not engage in any other exercise. Following the intervention, the athletes played in a national-team camp.
The sensory-rich pool environment—soothing and simultaneously challenging—is an ideal setting for mindful movement and a welcome respite from digital stress. It’s also a place where people of all ages and ability levels can thrive. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that aquatic exercise posted the third-greatest growth among group exercise and training protocols in the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, with 12% facility member participation last year, up from 7% in 2014.
As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.
As a yoga teacher, you guide participants through a practice that deepens their understanding of asanas (poses) and how these take shape in students’ bodies. You cue, coach, align, adjust, demonstrate and discuss, and you offer tips on breathing, anatomy, “feel” and sensation. Often, the most effective way to help participants understand a specific element is to slow down, grab a prop or two, and work a little deeper. You may have access to straps, blocks and bolsters, but you might be forgetting another perfect “prop”: the wall.
If your clients need to improve their flexibility, you may want to encourage them to try Thai yoga during their time away from training. In a review of randomized controlled trials, researchers found that consistent practice of Thai yoga improved muscular flexibility and specific joint range of motion. Thai yoga is from traditional Thai medicine and includes gentle dynamic stretching, deep breathing, meditation and self-acupressure.
Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.
Mindfulness practices such as meditation and conscious eating techniques may offer secrets to losing weight and keeping it off, say researchers from Montreal’s McGill University.
Noting some inconsistencies in prior findings, the researchers undertook a comprehensive analysis of 19 mindfulness and lifestyle modification studies that included 1,160 subjects. Here’s some of what the scientists learned from their investigation:
With the American Heart Association’s recent recognition of meditation and mindfulness practices and with meditation studios appearing in Los Angeles and New York City, it’s clear that these activities are going mainstream. Are you or is your facility integrating this trend into programs? For example, are you offering yoga and meditation classes or meditation-only sessions?
Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller at [email protected]
It’s a busy, technology-dominated world—and most of us are continually spinning, twisting and turning in an effort to “get things done” and “produce.” We work, we raise families, we have countless responsibilities. The truth is, this is distracted living, and it raises stress levels, lowers productivity and interferes with our ability to focus. When we live this way, we fail to cultivate a sense of contentment and joy.
Do your yoga students hunger to build a home practice but struggle to stick with one? Sustaining a regular home yoga practice can be challenging even for the most loyal yoga enthusiasts. But practicing independently—as a complement to learning from a skilled teacher—offers a variety of advantages that make it well worth the effort. Find out why a home practice can benefit your students, how you can encourage them to create the space for it, and what will help them get on the mat every day.
A Penn State University study found that women with overweight or obesity had significantly lower levels of stress and fasting glucose after participating in a mindfulness-based stress reduction [MBSR] program. Researchers evaluated the effects of MBSR on cardiometabolic outcomes in 86 women with overweight or obesity. The 8-week MBSR program—which consists of group training in mindfulness, stress reduction, mindful movement and meditation—includes weekly 2.5-hour sessions, one 6-hour retreat and a recommendation of daily home practice.
“Jane,” like many clients, tried yoga to reduce her stress and anxiety, but she often held her breath during triggering moments, taxing her to the point where she’d feel faint and need to lie on the floor. After taking yoga sessions with Nicole DeAvilla, RYT 500, of Kentfield, California, Jane immediately felt calmer, more grounded and more optimistic.
Next time you’re feeling down, you may want to try a yogic raised-hands pose, also known as the upward salute that is part of the sun salutation. You may recall research conducted by Amy J.C. Cuddy, PhD, MA, associate professor at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that suggested “power poses” can increase people’s sense of competence and power. Now, research suggests that open, expansive yoga postures held for 2 minutes may
Anxious, fatigued, unhappy, uncertain? We’ve all been there, all known times when our emotional hot buttons take over. We swear to ourselves that this time we will overcome them and stay committed to our goal, but it doesn’t work and we react with indulgent self-gratification. “I had such a long day, and I just don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve already fallen off the wagon so I’ll just eat what I want and start again on Monday.”
It’s a busy, technology-dominated world—and most of us are continually spinning, twisting and turning in an effort to “get things done” and “produce.” We work, we raise families, we have countless responsibilities. The truth is, this is distracted living, and it raises stress levels, lowers productivity, interferes with our ability to focus and compromises the mind-body connection. When we live this way, we fail to cultivate a sense of contentment and joy, which is counterproductive to our work as fitness and wellness professionals.
When you were new to teaching yoga, you had a lot to focus on. You navigated the room, demonstrated poses, gave hands-on adjustments, held space for emotions and skillfully managed time. In the early days, it may have felt like a victory just to make it through a class successfully!
Why tai chi?
These Chinese movement patterns have been around for centuries. In recent years, study after study has proven the benefits of tai chi—particularly for older exercisers—yet most fitness professionals seem to know little about it.
That’s too bad, because just about any fitness client can learn tai chi, and any fitness professional can teach it. Like other types of exercise, tai chi simply requires you to learn its movements and experience its benefits.
Yoga injuries in the United States are on the rise, particularly among older adults, according to data from hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Researchers from the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Alabama, examined data from 2001 to 2014 to establish the injury risk involved in yoga participation.
Are you in menopause? Chances are that you sometimes feel that you are not in control of your body! If you are seeking ways to cope with unpleasant menopausal symptoms, you may want to try yoga and other mind-body practices.
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, an award-winning author and IDEA’s mind-body spokesperson, explains the research and application of mind-body exercise on menopause.
Irritability and Mood Swings
Some 80 million Americans were expected to try yoga last year, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study (Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance 2016). Couple this statistic with the continuing effort to entice baby boomers with new and effective movement class designs, and you get a sense of the opportunity yoga provides for dedicated teachers with skill and creativity.